Hundreds of mothers from across the country arrived at the theater's plaza along with Shalit's parents, actress Gila Almagor, Miki Godlwasser, whose son was killed and kidnapped by Hezbollah, and former Knesset Member Yael Dayan.
The organization was initiated by Dr. Yael Weiss, a physician at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, and her childhood friend Tova Weisman, a clinical psychologist from the northern community of Nofit.
The two have been in close contact with the Shalit family since the massive march to Jerusalem. "I want to force (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu to do something and save Gilad so that we can hold our heads up high," says Weiss. "If we don't unite in our efforts, nothing will happen. We don't have the privilege to despair."
Weisman believes that "our strength as a people is measured by collective responsibility and mutual guarantee. The fact that Gilad Shalit is not home yet is eating us up from inside, each and every person as an individual and all of us as a society. One day we'll wake up and discover that the Israeli society has been injured critically and irreversibly."
The mothers sent a letter to the prime minister, urging him to "pay the price, as there is no other choice. Gilad is still alive and we must not wait for him to disappear or be handed over to Iran or, God forbid, al-Qaeda."
One of the many mothers who took part in the rally was Michal Tirosh, a former school principal. "We won't let the politicians give up on Gilad. We'll reach the neighborhoods, the periphery, the markets, and recruit every single mother in Israel until Gilad is released," she vowed.
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